Good morning, and thanks for spending part of your day with Extra Points.
Normally, we record Going For Two on Tuesday afternoons, and publish it first thing Wednesday morning. I don't want to say that the news cycle this week called for an EMERGENCY PODCAST, because I struggle to think of anything resembling an emergency that would require a podcast as a remedy, but I think both Bryan and I had so much to say about the recent run of coaching hires that we wanted to talk as soon as we possibly could.
So late Monday night, from my hotel room here in Tuscaloosa, we hammered out the latest episode. This episode covers a lot, including:
- What we think about the recent hires at under-the-radar type gigs, like UMass and UConn, and where we think programs like Temple may go in their search
- How to talk about coaching hires without predicting which hires are actually good
- Why Matt is troubled by the Brian Kelly to LSU hire on multiple levels
- Why coaching salaries have blown up this much, this quickly, what it means for the entirety of the sport, how it could be addressed, and why this round of outrage might be different.
If you enjoy the show, liking, subscribing, and sharing with your friends is very much appreciated.
And hey, if there's stuff you'd like to see or hear in future Going For Twos, or feedback about the podcast itself, I'd love to hear it. Many of the meetings I'm in right now are about this very podcast, and hey, I'd love your feedback.
If listening to the podcast isn't your thing, let me at least highlight this point from one of my new sister publications, AthleticDirectorU:
You can call the business of college athletics a lot of things...some of them good, some of them not so good. The one thing I believe you can't call it is a Free Market, or at least, not where coaching salaries are concerned.
Unlike the professional coaching market, there is no way for "ownership" to redirect revenues as profits, because there isn't technically any ownership group, and the schools are technically non-profits. The compensation for labor is also essentially capped at zero, whereas revenues would get shuttled to players in professional markets. But schools still need to compete for talent, because without good players, you don't win, and then everybody gets fired. So that money has to get spent, and it gets spent on facilities, administrators, and coaches.
I've come around to the idea that there is no realistic way for college sports, as currently constructed, to slow down this cost curve. Any administrator that wants to slow spending in the name of long-term fiscal sustainability will be overruled or replaced by other constituents if they think spending more will lead to more wins. I also don't think revenue re-distribution from NIL will be anywhere near enough to limit the ability of rich boosters to pay big buyouts.
The only way this changes, in my humble opinion, is if schools suddenly have to pay actual salaries, thus slowing the cost curve elsewhere in a department, or if the federal government provides a limited antitrust exemption that would allow schools or conferences to install cost-control measures. Without an exemption, I imagine anything the NCAA or a single conference tried to do would get smacked down in court.
I don't know if those things ever happen. But without those measures, I bet I'll be writing a similar story, lamenting some other dumb school who gave out a fully guaranteed $125 million deal for a coach that has never won a Playoff game.
And it will be just as dumb and wasteful then as it is right now.
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